In the midst of a crisis that our modern world has really never experienced before, we all struggle to find ways to get through the day and simulate our normal lives in the best way possible. Gyms, restaurants, beaches, bars, clubs and concerts have all been closed for months, and while some regions are beginning to open things back up, spikes in new cases of the virus are causing fear and worry that our situation might persist for longer than any of us expected or are comfortable with. Daily routines have been hijacked, night life is almost nonexistent for many of us, and healthy recreation has become strained. While this is all being done to protect us and our families, the impact can still be felt as a negative thing. This increases our underlying levels of stress and anxiety and makes it more important that we stay healthy and take care of ourselves in every way possible. For me, the most important things have been exercise, maintaining a social life, and finding ways to unwind after work. Problems with employment will be covered in a future article.
Exercise is the best way to avoid stress and anxiety, and keeping the body healthy is critical in fighting the virus itself. In place of going to the gym, and with many stores closed (I don’t own any home gym equipment), I have had to find ways to simulate my gym experience. Staying motivated is also an issue. Because I do a lot of my work at home, making the transition from work mode to fitness mode is sometimes challenging. First, get outside. I find it best to start my workout with a quick jog. It doesn’t need to be long, but enough to get your heart rate up. Getting a little sunshine is great for overall health as well, and this break from the routine is perfect in keeping me from getting bored. If you live in a place where you can’t go outside, or don’t have space to jog, try jumping jacks. Get some sun when you can. After that, I’ve stuck to natural resistance. Push-ups, sit-ups and squats will get most your muscle systems activated. For higher resistance exercise, I’ve used 5 or 6 liter water jugs for curls, shrugs and squats.
Maintaining a social life has been challenging, but small dinner parties with less than ten people have been the best way to crush boredom. I’ve also attended karaoke parties and reconnected with old friends over video chats. Creating videos and using social media platforms such as TikTok have also crushed some of the boredom and given me the chance to do something new.
I’m a writer. Its easy for me to get done with a project and feel like I could just dive into the next. Once I get on a roll, its easy for me to get carried away. At the beginning of the quarantine, it was common for me to get up and start work at 7 or 8 am and work until after midnight. Of course, this is extremely unhealthy and completely unsustainable, but I wanted to get a lot of work done before the pandemic really broke out. And I did. Then I took a couple months off to unwind and decompress. I worked most days but cut my hours back to 4 or 5 a day. Finding fun things to do after work was difficult at first, but then I realized how much time I was wasting. Learn a new language. Pick up a pencil and draw. Play a guitar. Read a book. Write a book (if you aren’t a writer). Develop a new skill and see where it takes you. Do anything, and keep doing it. With an unstable economy and a future to match, you never know where that new skill will take you. If you have a computer, learn how to use photoshop or start trading bitcoin (with 10 dollars, just to start). You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can develop something that you would have never expected to enjoy.
The underlying message is to think outside the box and stay active. Do something new, and keep an open mind. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing after a week, move on. Network. Discuss your ideas and your new hobby on twitter or Instagram with people who have expertise in what you choose. It is the perfect time to grow and evolve into a better you.